Archive for the 'Teacher Education' Category

Dwyane Wade LIVE TO DREAM Summer Reading Program: Reflections from Christine Reinders

Christine Reinders holds a Master of Arts in Literacy and Director of Instruction license from the College of Education. During the academic year, she is the Literacy Specialist at Lake Shore Middle School in the Mequon-Thiensville School District. Since 2016, she has worked with Dr. Kathleen Clark as the Director of Curriculum and Professional Development for the Dwyane Wade LIVE TO DREAM Summer Reading Program in the Hartman Literacy and Learning Center. Although the Center is not running this summer due to COVID-19 restrictions, we asked Christine to share some insights as the LIVE TO DREAM reading program hits its fifth anniversary.

DSC_2406Marquette Educator: What do you see as the benefit to the community (students, children, leadership team)?

Christine Reinders: The Dwyane Wade “Live to Dream” Summer Reading Program is a tremendous gift. The program gives young children, who often feel challenged in the area of literacy, the opportunity to grow in their reading and writing achievement, but also feel success. For many children, our program is the first time they’ve felt success in their academic journey. Once students feel success, they grow more self-confident and more willing to take on new academic challenges. While our program grows students’ reading and writing achievement, which is crucial for success in the 21-century, it also plants the seed of life-long learning.

What is your favorite part of the program?

I love being a part of the ​Dwyane Wade “Live to Dream” Summer Reading Program for many reasons and I cannot identify just one aspect as my favorite. Working alongside my mentor and Director of the Hartman Center, Dr. Kathleen Clark has been very rewarding. Dr. Clark possesses a wealth of knowledge and I continue to grow from her year after year. Additionally, educators participating in the summer reading program are eager to grow in their professional practice, and I love that I am able to share my knowledge and experiences with them. The children are always amazing. Many of the students participating in the Dwyane Wade “Live to Dream” Summer Reading Program feel challenged in the area of literacy. I love and cherish the days when our students begin to feel success as a reader and writer. Suddenly there are more smiles and bouts of laughter, and soon their self-confidence begins to shine through. It’s the most rewarding aspect of the entire summer and I am so fortunate to be a part of it.

What opportunities do you see for the future of the program?

Honestly, the future of the program is contingent on funding. With continued funding, we can continue to strengthen the literacy achievement of children living in the City of Milwaukee. In the future, I would love to use students’ growing strengths in reading and writing to foster learning and growth in other content areas. I dream of developing a social studies and socio-emotional hybrid curriculum that would give students the opportunity to learn about strong leaders and provide them with ways in which they can use their literacy prowess to become a successful leader. I want students to feel that they are valuable members of society that have the power and knowledge to make the world a better place.

Dwyane Wade LIVE TO DREAM Summer Reading Program: Q&A with Dr. Kathleen Clark

This summer would have been the fifth session of the Hartman Center’s Dwyane Wade LIVE TO DREAM Summer Reading Program. Even though we were unable to run it due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we’re still thinking about the impact its had. We recently caught up with Dr. Kathleen Clark, Director of the Hartman Center, to ask for a little more insight into the program. 


Marquette Educator: Could you share how the backstory of how this program came to exist?

Kathleen Clark (KC): In 2014, I applied for a Wisconsin Read to Lead grant to fund a summer session that would be a variation of the Hartman Center’s after-school reading program. The program would have included 60 hours of literacy instruction for students across 6 weeks and 90 minutes of professional development for teachers each week. Governor Walker’s Read to Lead Development Council did not fund the grant. Marquette University Advancement officers approached the Wade’s World Foundation with the grant’s contents and the foundation funded the program for three summers with the agreement that Marquette University would find community partners to fund an additional three summers of the program. The program’s inaugural session was in the summer of 2015.

What do you see as the benefit to the community (students, children, leadership team)?

The program benefits the community at multiple levels. Most visibly, we work to prevent the summer slide in learning that many children who are growing up in low-income circumstances experience, and we have been successful: Five summers of data reveal that 46% of children have maintained their instructional reading level across the summer and 54% have increased their level. Moreover, statistical comparisons of pre- and post-program scores on multiple assessments show that children have made significant gains in the ability to recognize words and read with comprehension.

The program also benefits the teachers. The teachers participate in approximately 40 hours of professional development (PD) as part of the program. A portion of these hours are allocated to teaching aspects of the reading process within the program and others are allocated to the summer’s additional curriculum. To date these have been the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project’s Units of Study for Writing (2017) and the University of California at Berkeley’s Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading integrated literacy/science curriculum (2018, 2019). Additionally, each teacher has a mentor. The mentors are licensed reading specialists, directors of instruction, and classroom teachers with considerable expertise in reading. Mentors work individually with teachers on aspects of instruction that are areas of focus for them, most of them self-selected. The PD teachers receive strengthens their instruction in the program and, moving forward from the program, instruction in their home classrooms.

What is your favorite part of the program?

I love that we are able to provide intensive, high-quality, small group instruction that is targeted to children’s specific reading needs as well as to enable children to grow in writing ability and science knowledge as these curricular areas can be less emphasized in the primary grades. An aspect of the program that is particularly special to me personally is the opportunity to collaborate professionally with educators who are my former students and to learn from them as we work together to prevent the summer learning slide.

Reflections from a Double Alumnus

49502238502_d208a05167_oBy Brock Borga, Ed ’12 and Grad ’19

My name is Brock Borga. Receiving my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Sociology and my Master’s Degree in Educational Policy and Leadership (with license in both principalship and director of curriculum), Marquette University has been a huge part of my life. I have been part off the Archdiocese of Milwaukee for the past eight years at St. Anthony School of Milwaukee. The first seven years of my journey at St. Anthony had me teaching 3rd grade, and I have moved positions this school year to the Dean of Instruction.

In my new role, I observe teachers every other week and have coaching sessions with the teacher after the observation. In these coaching sessions, we reflect on what teaching practices went well and what could have gone better. It is from those reflections that we create an action plan together and I come back to observe the action plan in action. I started off teaching in the Muskego-Norway School District, and while my time there was great, I didn’t feel connected with the students, staff, or community around me. I knew that there was somewhere for me to feel accomplished with my teaching. I remembered my time as an undergraduate at Marquette University and the schools I was able to work with through my courses, and knew that schools throughout Milwaukee were my calling. Because Marquette has instilled faith throughout its courses in my undergraduate courses, I began looking at schools through the Archdiocese. It is there I found St. Anthony School of Milwaukee. My time there has been wonderful. The students are eager to learn, the parents repeatedly state how blessed they are to be a part of the school, and the faculty is eager to continue their professional growth for the community we teach.

Before I was in this administrative position, I was been given additional opportunities to grow at my school that would not have been possible otherwise. I was able to have two student teachers from Marquette University be with me in the classroom (one from August 2017-January 2018 and the other from January 2019 – March 2019). It was an amazing experience not only giving back to Marquette, but practicing many of the leadership skills I was learning about in my graduate courses. I apply many of the practices that were discussed in my graduate courses in my new position, ranging from leadership styles to having effective conversations with teachers.

Marquette has helped me achieve these additional opportunities, outside of helping me achieve my administration license / master’s degree. I am both blessed and honored to say I have been a part of Marquette University for my entire undergraduate career and my graduate career. It is all thanks to the Catholic Schools Personnel Scholarship that I am able to continue my professional growth and achieve the goals I have set.


Remarks from Dr. Cynthia Ellwood for the Class of 2020

Although we cannot hold our commencement ceremonies as we typically have, many of our faculty and staff have shared their best wishes for the Class of 2020. Below are remarks from Dr. Cynthia Ellwood for the students completing their Masters in Education degrees this spring.

accomplishment-ceremony-education-graduationMy good friends and colleagues:

In some other world, right about now, many of you would be gathering in the Pabst theater to be celebrated by us. That’s not what we’re living right now, but it’s still a milestone. So, let’s take a moment.

When you were admitted into the Educational Policy and Leadership programs, whether Educational Administration or Educational Policy and Foundations, it was because we saw in you someone who shared the values and aspirations of our program – a commitment to justice and opportunity for all people, an appetite for rigor, and the desire to pursue your studies as part of a community.

Now a few years later, here is what I see in you. You have come together as family across many personal histories and educational sectors. “Cohort” does not begin to capture you have become as a community.

High demand and high support has become a watchword phrase among us. You not only speak it, you live it. You have challenged and nurtured each other through this program. More importantly, you have increasingly found new ways to challenge and nurture the young people you serve. We saw this change in you from your first semesters in the program. And as your convictions have grown over the years, we have seen you exercise the courage to advocate among other adults for change that better challenges and supports our young people. You’ve become leaders.

 We have seen each of you grow dramatically more capable and confident in wielding the skills of leadership. But much more importantly, you have become adaptive leaders – people who recognize the underlying complexities and human dynamics of the challenges educators confront. You have become people who know how to pursue thoughtful, creative, systemic change.

Finally I see in you a group of individuals who show a deep, critical, independent understanding of what justice looks like. Each of you has wrestled with what words like “social justice” actually mean, each of you has examined inequities in your own personal and professional worlds, and, in the face of this ever-deepening understanding, you have found opportunities for action.

You have not waited to act, you have already begun. And you have developed a hopefulness and a resolve that absolutely humbles me.

You are the beacons that light our future and the future of our young people. Thank you for letting us be part of your journey.

Please check out our YouTube channel or follow the College of Education on Facebook or Twitter to hear more from our faculty as they congratulate our graduates.

2020 Outstanding Secondary Pre-Service Teacher: Elli Pointner

Each spring, the College of Education celebrates faculty, students and friends with the annual Mission Recognition awards ceremony. As this year’s event had to be canceled, we wanted to share some thoughts and words from our student winners. Please join us in congratulating this year’s Outstanding Secondary Pre-Service Teacher, Elli Pointner.

Professional Picture

Throughout my four years at Marquette, I’ve had countless professors and mentors who taught me so much and who provide opportunities and skills for me to learn through experience in the classroom and outside of class, through field placements. So, thank you…I’m forever grateful for your accompaniment, your wisdom, your passion, our community. Thank you for helping me grow into the educator I am to day, and thank you for being my home at Marquette.

2020 Outstanding Elementary Pre-Service Teacher: Olivia Commer

Each spring, the College of Education celebrates faculty, students and friends with the annual Mission Recognition awards ceremony. As this year’s event had to be canceled, we wanted to share some thoughts and words from our student winners. Olivia Commer is one of two Outstanding Elementary Pre-Service Award winners. 


I just wanted to take a little bit of time to say thank you to all the incredible professors who work in Marquette University’s College of Education. I truly would not be who I am today without their help and I greatly appreciate everything they’ve done for me the past four years.

You can also see Olivia’s full remarks on our YouTube channel.

2020 Outstanding Elementary Pre-Service Teacher: Cynthia Zuñiga

Each spring, the College of Education celebrates faculty, students and friends with the annual Mission Recognition awards ceremony. As this year’s event had to be canceled, we wanted to share some thoughts and words from our student winners. Cynthia Zuñiga is one of two Outstanding Elementary Pre-Service Award winners. 

C95FAD23-37F9-4A78-9DC7-7CF4F0564747It is an honor to win this award. I’d like to send a huge thank you to all of the professors, staff and everyone else whom I have met through the College of Education. They are the people who have taught me and truly prepared me for the moment when I get to have my own classroom.

In addition, there are no words to be able to thank my family for the immense support they have given me throughout these four years. There was never a day that my mom wouldn’t remind me of the change that I will make in my classroom. As a minority, there is always that sense of “not being good enough,” thankfully my parents squashed that mindset for me right away. They reminded me that my culture and my background are the foundation of the educator I want to become, and they were right.

As I just accepted a teaching position in a dominantly Latinx school community for next year, I am eager to remind my students of the power they hold and the force of nature they will be in this world. With this award, everything that has occurred during these four years has come full circle. All of my late nights were worth it. All of the classroom observation hours were worth it. All of the twenty-plus page lesson plans were worth it. Every single factor that has made up my four years in the College of Education has led up to this moment. Once again, thank you, Marquette, for honoring me with this award and for everything they have taught me along the way.

A Letter to a Girl

downloadBy Kathryn Rochford

To the girl who used to stay up late procrastinating just to enjoy being around her friends, keep enjoying yourself.

To the girl who loved pizza nights with her friends, Monday night Bachelor watch-fests, playing catch on the third floor, giving massages, having dance parties. Soak it all in.

To the girl who loved going to classes even when she was exhausted, who loved seeing professors and friends and classmates on the sidewalk, memorize what it’s like.

Remember what this is like and soak it all in because before you know it and can even process it, it’s all taken away from you.

To the girl who sits at her desk all day staring at a laptop filled with updated syllabi, PowerPoints of notes and videos to watch for “lectures” you will get through this.

To the girl who sits with tear-stained cheeks driving a car full of things from an empty dorm room that wasn’t meant to be empty yet. It’s okay to grieve.

To the girl who unpacks in her room overwhelmed by feelings of loss, of the lack of fairness, of fear of how long this will happen. You’ll get through this.

To the girl who is tired of doing the same thing every day and just wants to be with her friends again, it’s ok to cry.

To the girl who FaceTimes her friends all the time just to feel like she’s with them for a little bit, enjoy those phone calls. Think of the memories you had.

To the girl who is scared of getting sick or of anyone she loved and cares about getting sick, it’s okay to be afraid.

To the girl who wishes none of this happened, so does the rest of this world. It’s okay to feel these emotions.

You’re grieving the loss of time with friends, the college experience you thought you’d always have, the events you looked forward to this spring. You’re grieving how happy you were even in the worst of weeks because at least you were with your friends and going to classes.

To the girl who will emerge from this, I hope you never forget it. I hope you remember the lessons you learned about what’s really important.

To the girl who comes out of this, remember how strong you are and how you made it through one of the worst situations life could throw at you. I mean a global pandemic doesn’t happen often. Or ever for that matter.

To the girl who will someday rejoin her friends at parties, restaurants, school and sporting events. Soak it all in. Never forget how much these things matter to you because you lost it all once.

More than anything, remember this too shall pass. Things will get back to normal at some point. You can get through this. I believe in you.


A Letter to Admitted Students from Fr. Jeffrey LaBelle

It’s the time of year when admitted students are deciding what the next step in their educational journey will be. Since this year looks a little different than the past, we want to share some of the messages we’ve been sending to them. Here is a letter from Fr. Jeffrey LaBelle, Associated Professor and Associate Dean, highlighting Marquette’s Jesuit mission.

Joan_of_Arc_ChapelCongratulations on your acceptance to Marquette University! I’m pleased to hear you are interested in pursuing a career in education and that you’re considering joining us next fall. As the associate dean and a faculty member in the College of Education, let me welcome you to our community.  

As you know, Marquette is a Catholic, Jesuit institution located in the heart of Milwaukee. Established in 1881 and named after the explorer Father Jacques Marquette, the university is dedicated to service. Within the College of Education, you will see a strong commitment to social justice in both your coursework and field placements. Service and teaching are the foundation of both our college and our university. We are proud to uphold the ideals of the Catholic Church and offer an education in the Jesuit tradition of forming men and women for others. 

I am confident that joining us in the College of Education will prepare you for a rewarding future as an educator, and you will be supported every step of the way. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. I look forward to meeting you and potentially having you in one of my classes. 

Best of luck finishing up this academic year—much like Father Marquette, you are set to begin your next great adventure.  

God Bless,
Rev. Jeffrey LaBelle, S.J., Ed.D.
Associate Professor and Associate Dean, Educational Policy and Leadership Department
College of Education 

Interested in learning more about our undergraduate programs in Education? Check out our website for more details or feel free to reach out!

Getting to Know Our Students: Meet Emily Moorman

This year, we are spending time getting to know our students! You can get to know more of our students and our faculty/ staff on previous posts. Read on to meet Emily, one of our undergraduates!

Screen Shot 2020-03-26 at 9.18.16 AM

Hi! My name is Emily Moorman, and I’m from Lake Forest, Illinois. I’ve lived in the same house my whole life with my parents and my older sister, Jill. We also have a dog named Shelby and cat named Tiger Lily. Growing up I’ve always liked outdoor activities, especially ones I can do with my family like taking my dog for walks and going boating in the summer. As a family, we all really enjoy the summertime because that’s when my dad smokes a lot of ribs and pulled pork for us to eat.

As this is my sophomore year, I decided it was finally time to get a job on campus. I’m currently a barista at The Brew and so far, I really enjoy it! It’s fun to learn how to make all the drinks and also make some friends in the process. Aside from work, I enjoy school and my favorite educational experience is from when I was in 5th grade. For math we split up into small teams and my little math group always played music and danced — it’s just something that I’ve always remembered because it really got me into enjoying math. This upcoming academic year, I’m excited to learn new ways of teaching and put them to work during my student teaching time.

Outside the classroom, I enjoy painting and doing other random arts and crafts (even though I’m not that great at it). For me, I see art as a stress-reliever and there’s nothing more relaxing than finishing up all my homework and then painting while I watch some Netflix. I also like how I can get my friends to do it with me too! Sometimes we have painting nights, put on Criminal Minds and paint until we finally decide it’s time for bed.

For the past six years or so I’ve been a babysitter and a nanny, and I absolutely love being around kids. This has blossomed my passion for teaching because I think it’s really interesting to watch kids grow and learn over time. I’m so lucky to be in the College of Edwhere you can tell all the professors really care about their students and turning us into the best teachers we can be for our futures.

What is a Marquette Educator?

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